Drum roll, please! Dimes for Besore means more than $1,000 for library

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

A long-standing Greencastle-Antrim Primary School tradition returned to its pre-pandemic level of excitement as the first-graders gathered in the pit area of the lobby to present the results of their Dimes for Besore collection.

They did a drum roll with their hands against their legs before the grand total of $1,023.09 was announced.

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For more than 30 years, G-A first-graders have observed the 100th day of school by collecting dimes — and other coins — for Greencastle’s Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library.

Representatives of each first-grade classroom at Greencastle-Antrim Primary School were chosen to present Dimes for Besore donations on Feb. 10. They are shown with, from left, teacher Amy Wilson; Kiely Fisher, district library consultant; and Cheyenne Bookwalter, children’s librarian at Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library in Greencastle.

The collection was not held in 2021 due to the coin shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic, and last year the money was delivered directly to the library, according to Cheyenne Bookwalter, children’s librarian at Besore, where she’s known as “Miss Cheyenne.”

She’s found books going back as far as 1991 purchased with the proceeds of the collection, remembers the dime project from when she was in school and attended her first donation event in 2011 as a Greencastle-Antrim High School senior and library volunteer.

Cheyenne Bookwalter, children’s librarian at Greencastle’s Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library, talked to Greencastle-Antrim Primary School first-graders about what the library has to offer them. The children, in the annual 100th day of school Dimes for Besore project, collected $1,023.09 for the library. The money will be used to buy books for their age group.

The 100th day of school was Tuesday, Feb. 7, the donation program was Friday, Feb. 10, and Bookwalter and Kiely Fisher, former Besore librarian and now district library consultant, had their hands full lugging the donated coins out of the building.

Carrying plastic bags or plastic tubs full of money, representatives of each class took turns going to the front of the pit. Kids cheered and clapped as each room’s tally was announced.

Greencastle-Antrim Primary School teachers Amy Wilson, left, and Danielle Berwick kept track of the money each first-grade class raised in the Dimes for Besore collection. The final tally of $1,023.09 was donated to Greencastle’s Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library.

“I’m so thankful for the money you raised, and I am going to buy some amazingly awesome books with it,” Bookwalter told the students.

She will use the money to purchase books geared to the reading level of primary students — from pre-reading to second grade  — and the list includes picture books, nonfiction, fiction and chapter books. Each will have a label indicating it is from this year’s first-graders.

Greencastle-Antrim first-graders applauded and teachers kept track of the numbers on phones and watches as donations from each classroom were announced in the 100th day of school collection to benefit Greencastle’s Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library.

Kids were also asked for suggestions about books they want to read. One child mentioned Bigfoot books. Another said “Elephant and Piggie,” and Bookwalter noted the library has the whole series.

“You can come to the library any time and tell me what books you want,” Bookwalter said, and many hands went up when she asked how many of the students have been to the library. All hands will go up later this year as all first-graders visit the library in the spring.

First-graders gathered in the pit area in the lobby of Greencastle-Antrim Primary School to learn about Greencastle’s Lilian S. Besore Library as part of their annual 100th day of school Dimes for Besore project.

Bookwalter also told the youngsters about library programs they might enjoy, including Read to Dogs, Lego Club, Book to Movie Club, Science Night, Movie Night and the summer reading program.

Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at